From the book by Vladimir Megre "The Energy of Life"

(translated by Marian Schwartz)

Once upon a time there lived in the world an ordinary husband and wife. The wife’s name was Elena, the man’s Ivan.

The husband would come home from work, sit in the armchair by the television, and read the paper. His wife, Elena, would cook dinner. She would serve her husband dinner and grumble that he did nothing useful around the house and made too little money. His wife’s grumbling would irritate Ivan. He wouldn’t say anything rude in reply, he would just think privately, “She’s a sloppy hag herself, and she’s making comments. When I just married, she was completely different, pretty and kind.”

One day, when his grumbling wife asked Ivan to take out the garbage, he reluctantly tore himself away from the television and went into the courtyard. Returning, he stopped by the apartment house doors and prayed silently to God.

“My God, my God! What a muddled life mine’s turned out to be. Am I really going to have to live my whole life with a wife like this? Grumbling and ugly to boot? This isn’t life, it’s nothing but torture.”

Suddenly, Ivan heard the quiet voice of God.

“I could help you in your misfortune, My son. I could give you a beautiful goddess for a wife, but if your neighbors see a sudden change in your fate, they will be greatly mystified. Let’s try this. I will gradually change your wife and instill in her the spirit of a goddess and improve her appearance. Only you must remember. If you want to live with a goddess, your life has to be worthy of a goddess.”

“Thank you, God. Any guy would change his life for the sake of a goddess. Just tell me this. When will you start making changes with my wife?”

“I will change her a little right now, and every minute I will change her for the better.”

Ivan walked into his apartment, sat down in his armchair, picked up the newspaper, and turned the television back on. Only he didn’t feel like reading or watching a movie. He couldn’t wait to look. Had his wife indeed changed just a little?

He stood up, opened the kitchen door, leaned against the doorjamb, and began to examine his wife closely. She was standing with her back to him, washing the dishes left after dinner. 

Elena suddenly felt his gaze and turned toward the door. Their eyes met. Ivan examined his wife and thought, “No, no changes in my wife.” 

Seeing her husband’s unusual attention and understanding nothing, Elena suddenly fixed her hair, and her cheeks flushed when she asked, “What is it, Ivan? Why are you looking at me so closely?”

Her husband couldn’t think of what to say, and embarrassed himself, suddenly said, “Maybe I can help you wash the dishes? For some reason I thought . . . . ” 

“The dishes? Help me?” his amazed wife asked quietly, removing her soiled apron. “But I’ve already washed them.”

“Well, that’s great. She’s changing right before my eyes,” Ivan thought. “All of a sudden, she’s prettier.”

And he started drying the dishes.

The next day after work, Ivan hurried home impatiently. Oh, he couldn’t wait to see his grumbling wife being gradually transformed into a goddess. 

“What if there were suddenly a lot of the goddess in her, and I didn’t change at all, like before? Just in case, I’ll buy some flowers so I put my best foot forward.”

The door opened, and a bewitched Ivan was lost for words. Elena stood before him in her party dress, the one he’d bought her the year before. She had a ribbon in her tidy hair. He became flustered and awkwardly handed her the flowers. He couldn’t take his eyes off Elena. 

She took the flowers and gasped slightly, lowering her eyelashes, and began to glow.

“Oh, how beautiful the goddess’s eyelashes are! How meek her character! How unusual her inner beauty and outward appearance!”

Ivan gasped in turn when he saw the table set with their good service, two candles lit on the table, two wineglasses, and food drawing him with divine aromas.

When he sat down at the table, his wife Elena sat down across form him, too, but suddenly jumped up, saying, “Forgive me, I forgot to turn on the television for you. And here, I got fresh newspapers for you.”

“I don’t need the television, and I don’t feel like reading the papers. It’s always the same thing in them,” Ivan replied sincerely. “Why don’t you tell me how you’d like to spend your Saturday tomorrow?”

Completely stunned, Elena asked him, “What about you?”

“I had a chance to buy two theater tickets for us. But maybe in the afternoon you’d agree to go shopping. If we’re going to be going to the theater, we should first stop by a store and buy a proper dress for you to go to the theater.”

Ivan nearly blurted out the words “a proper dress for a goddess.” He grew confused, looked at her, and gasped again. Sitting before him at the table was a goddess. Her face shone with happiness, and her eyes gleamed. Her intimate smile held a small question. 

“Oh, my God, how beautiful goddesses are! And if she gets prettier every day, will I be able to be worthy of her?” Ivan thought, and a thought struck him like lightning. “I have to! I have to while my goddess is by my side. I have to ask her, and beg her to have my child. The child will be from me and the most beautiful goddess.”

“What are you thinking about, Ivan? Is that excitement I see on your face?” Elena asked her husband.

He sat there agitated, not knowing how to utter his most cherished thought. It’s no joke to ask a goddess for a child. God did not promise him a gift like that. Ivan didn’t know how to express his wish, and he stood up, tugging the tablecloth, and said, turning red, “I don’t know. . . . Maybe. . . . But I . . . wanted to say. . . . For a long time . . . . Yes, I want a child from you, beautiful goddess.”

She, Elena, walked up to Ivan, her husband. From her love-filled eyes, a happy tear rolled down her rosy cheek. She put her hand on Ivan’s shoulder and scorched him with her hot breath.

“Oh, it was night! Now it is morning! This is day! Oh, how beautiful life is with a goddess!” thought Ivan, as he put a coat on his second grandson to go for a walk.

From the book by Vladimir Megre "The Energy of Life" (translated by Marian Schwartz)

Книга:  Parables